Radio Interview on YENIGAT WOG: Parenting and Parenting Support

Dr. Emebet Mulugeta, Associate Professor of Psychology at Addis Ababa University and Director of Nia Center for Children and Family Development (Nia CCFD) was interviewed on August 15, 2014 on Yenigat Wog, which translates to mean Dawn Talk, a weekly radio program on FM 102.1.  
The program, organized in collaboration with Hiwot Ethiopia and funded by the Oak Foundation, focuses on the roles and responsibilities of fathers in the lives of their children.  It further discusses the relationships parents have with their children and encourages building healthy family ties.
In the interview, Dr Emebet addressed the importance of good parenting in a time of such fast-paced globalization. She mentioned that the current trend of transitioning from “traditional” to
“modern” parenting styles must take into consideration the accompanying environmental changes, such as diminishing communal living in neighborhoods; access to uncensored information, and increased and easy access to drugs.  As such, she noted it is vital for parents to better know their children, understand their needs in order to ensure a healthy and safe upbringing. 
How can we bring about such change in our community?  Dr. Emebet stated her firm belief in creating awareness on the importance of good parenting; providing parents with access to the information they require, and supporting them in acquiring essential parenting skills.  With regard to fathers, she said that given the awareness, information, and support they require, fathers would be encouraged to play a role; be equipped with the necessary tools, and understand how best to use these tools in attending to the specific needs of their families.  “They would become central in their role in their families, as well as gain a sense of belonging for themselves,” she said. 
The challenge currently lies in where and how to access information and/or counseling services and whether or not these services are affordable to the general public.  Dr. Emebet explained that there are various private counseling services that are now surfacing in Addis Ababa, but a greater effort is needed to advertise the availability of these services.  She also stated that the Addis Ababa University is graduating greater numbers of individuals in the psycho-social fields.  Graduate research papers are also readily available within the university’s public libraries.

“This is not enough, however,” she stated, “professionals in the field need to come together along with the Ethiopian Psychological Association (EPA) and make a concerted effort to broaden the level of awareness on this issue. This is one of our challenges,” she said, “we (professionals in the field) need to collaborate, exchange ideas, and find ways to make a wide range of quality assured services available to the public…there are very few of us, yet there is a large demand for service.” CLICK FOR THE AMAHRIC INTERVIEW